Due to the influence tire pressure has on vehicle safety and efficiency, tire-pressure monitoring (TPM) was first adopted by the European market as an optional feature for luxury passenger vehicles in the 1980s. The first passenger vehicle to adopt TPM was the Porsche 959 in 1986, using a hollow spoke wheel system developed by PSK. In 1996 Renault used the Michelin PAX system for the Scenic and in 1999 the PSA Peugeot Citroën decided to adopt TPM as a standard feature on the Peugeot 607. The following year (2000), Renault launched the Laguna II, the first high volume mid-size passenger vehicle in the world to be equipped with TPM as a standard feature. In the United States, TPM was introduced by General Motors for the 1991 model year for the Corvette in conjunction with Goodyear run-flat tires. The system uses sensors in the wheels and a driver display which can show tire pressure at any wheel, plus warnings for both high and low pressure. It has been standard on Corvettes ever since.
Firestone recall and legal mandates
The Firestone recall in the late 1990s (which was linked to more than 100 deaths from rollovers following tire tread-separation), pushed the United States Congress to legislate the TREAD Act. The Act mandated the use of a suitable TPMS technology in all light motor vehicles (under 10,000 pounds), to help alert drivers of under-inflation events. This act affects all light motor vehicles sold after September 1, 2007. Phase-in started in October 2005 at 20%, and reached 100% for models produced after September 2007. In the United States, as of 2008 and the European Union, as of November 1, 2012, all new passenger car models released must be equipped with a TPMS. From November 1, 2014, all new passenger cars sold in the European Union must be equipped with a TPMS. For N1 vehicles, TPMS are not mandatory, but if a TPMS is fitted, it must comply with the regulation.
On July 13, 2010, the South Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs announced a pending partial-revision to the Korea Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (KMVSS), specifying that “TPMS shall be installed to passenger vehicles and vehicles of GVW 3.5 tons or less, … [effective] on January 1, 2013 for new models and on June 30, 2014 for existing models”. Japan is expected to adopt European Union legislation approximately one year after European Union implementation. Further countries to make TPMS mandatory include Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Israel, Malaysia and Turkey. After the TREAD Act was passed, many companies responded to the market opportunity by releasing TPMS products using battery-powered radio transmitter wheel modules.